WARDEN — There will be much to remember from Warden’s 2018 season.
An undefeated regular season, a South Central Athletic Conference East championship and the first Class 1A state tournament berth in the school’s history.
The result of that playoff game, however, will be a sore subject. Lexi Torok completed her hat trick in the 59th minute and Lakeside eliminated Warden from the state tournament 6-1.
Despite the abrupt end that postseason athletics can offer, head coach Hannah Mohs was proud of what her team had accomplished.
“Just their heart and how hard they play and how much it takes to get here,” she said.
Warden, hosting a 1A state playoff game for the first time, had its chances, especially in the first half. Aubree Skone dribbled through a pair of defenders and had her ball deflected barely wide left in the third minute. Skone scooped up another misplayed ball in the 19th, but was unable to attempt a clean shot due to a collision near the Eagles’ goal. More, a cross from Skone in the 22nd minute skidded just behind the waiting boots of Ashlyn Yamane.
“If we had done more of the little things maybe that could have changed momentum because in high school that’s big,” Yamane said. “But if you don’t do those little things postseason you might not get that chance again and that kind of caught up to us.”
Torok scored the first of her three goals in the fifth minute before Warden found its composure. Most of the first half played like a classic state tournament game — action in the midfield with every shot gaining meaning as the minutes counted down.
Yamane mentioned momentum in high school; it was firmly entrenched with the Eagles by halftime.
Lakeside broke through with a goal from freshman Abbi McLellan in the 33rd minute and then Warden’s all-league first team defender Cathy Mendoza was carried off with an injury minutes later.
Mendoza’s injury was felt in the second half as Lakeside rattled off four goals in a 10-minute span to pull away.
“Having one of your key players that covers us quite a bit out, that just throws everybody off their game,” Mohs said.
Aaliyah Escamilla finished a pass from Skone in the 67th minute for the Cougars’ lone goal. Skone also drew a foul in the penalty box during second-half stoppage time, but Lakeside goalie Payton Williams saved Bailey Whitney’s offering.
“Looking at it positively, we did stuff that Warden hasn’t ever done before,” Yamane said.
Score by halves
W — 0 1 1
L — 2 4 6
First half: 1, L, Lexi Torok 5:00; 2, L, Abbi McClellan 33:00.
Second half: 3, L, Payton Stueckle 50:00; 4, L, Torok 53:00; 5, L, McLellan 56:00; 6, L, Torok 59:00; 7, W, Aaliyah Escamilla (Aubree Skone) 67:00.